Providence: Unexpected Foodie Paradise
I recently had a chance to spend some time out in Providence, Rhode Island and was absolutely amazed by the amount of amazing food I tried out there! For such a (relatively) small town, they know what they're doing and they really know there way around sea food. Without any delay, let's dive right in to the highlights of my time in Providence!
Cafe Nuovo was by far my favorite dinner spot in Providence. The first time I went (yes I ate there more than once) I had the sea scallop risotto and it was absolutely amazing! I think this might just have been the best scallops I have ever eaten.
With their seasonally changing menu, I have to bitter-sweetly say that you might not get your hands on some of these dishes when you visit, but nevertheless some honorable mentions are just too important to ignore. The duck, lamb chops, pumpkin creme brulee, and cranberry apple crisp were all amazingly delicious. From service to presentation and taste, Cafe Nuovo did an excellent job in creating an amazing fine dining experience. Based on my visits I'd give this restaurant a 9/10.
Circe Restaurant & Bar
Another dinner find, Circe is a New American restaurant in Providence with good food and a great aesthetic. We started off with the Beet & Gouda salad. Fun fact, this was my first time trying beets! There are different than what I expected but good. The gouda was an amazing compliment both in flavor as well as texture.
We then moved onto the Brussel Sprouts and Lamb Lollipops. Both were great starters, the lamb was my favorite. Other honerable mentions include the the Wild Boar Ragu and Wagyu Burger.
We tried a few different cocktails and wines, but were not as impressed with the drink selection. Of the dishes we tried, I really enjoyed about three-quarters of them and the service was merely at par. Overall, I'd give this spot a 7.5/10 for high-end dining.
Pane e Vino
Coming in as my second favorite high-end dinner spot of this foodie paradise is Pane e Vino. Of course I'm a bit biased since I love any + everything Italian... From the calamari to the gelato and everything between, this restaurant provides an excellent dining experience.
Our waiter was the sweetest! After walking us through the specials and menu, he suggested we start with the Caprese salad. Quite possibly as good as the salads I had in Tuscany, the flavors of tomato, mozzarella and balsamic all blended together in wonderful accord. Next, we tried the calamari and gnocchi. This was probably the best calamari I had during my stay in the city. The gnocchi however was underwhelming.
Moving on to the main course, I chose the Linguine Al Nero Fra Diavolo - squid ink linguine with lobster, chilies, and tomatoes. It was AMAZING! Exactly what I wanted with a wonderful spicy kick.
We ended the night with pistachio gelato, bring this yummy night of dining to a score of 8.5/10.
There isn't too much for me to say about Sydney other than it is a must try! I went nearly every morning during my stay for breakfast. Some of my favorites were the Sweet Ricotta Toast with apple butter, apples and walnuts; the Chaider (chai + apple cider); the Sea salt and olive oil chocolate cookie; and the old fashioned donut. Great spot for a good read or to start your day with a light bite. 9.5/10!
Hemenway's Seafood Grill @ Oyster Bar
Stopping by for a quick bite, I tried Hemenway's on one of my last nights in Rhode Island. After hearing about the lobster special - lobster prepared with shrimp and scallops, cracked open, and served with butter - I knew I'd have to try it! When on the east coast, right? However, I found that I was not particularly fond of this dish. The lobster meat was a bit dry and for the price point I felt like there wasn't that much quality meat to work with.
Not to fear! There were other things to love about Hemenway's. Their brussel sprouts and bacon wrapped scallops were 100% delicious and satisfying. I also tried the Blackberry Bramble cocktail from their drink list....let me tell you, this drink was a mixologist's dream! But the fun didn't end there. Ever dessert that I tried was absolutely amazing!! I tried the lemon pudding cake, the flowerless chocolate cake with raspberry sorbet, and the caramel apple bread pudding. Each bite was better than the last. Even though I'm not too much of a sweet tooth these days, I couldn't get enough. I'd have to say that the bread pudding was my favorite, but I recommend them all! Overall, I'd give the my Hemenway's experience an 8/10.
My final dining experience in Providence was at Los Andes, a Peruvian and Bolivian restaurant. This was my first time trying ceviche (tilapia, squid, shrimp, and mussels) and i'm telling you it was mind blowing.Everything tasted so fresh and full of flavor! This restaurant also gave me a new appreciation for calamari. For the main course, I tried the Bisteca A Lo Pobre. This pan seared top sirloin was served with a fried egg, rice, plantains, and jus. The meat was cooked very well, the plantains on the other hand felt a bit overdone (but I'll be the first to admit I'm a bit critical of plantains since I grew up eating them a lot).
This was a great first run at Peruvian/Bolivian food, and I can't wait to try more in the future! Altogether, I'd have to say the food, ambiance, and service at Los Andes would come out to an 8.5/10.
Providence is truly a seafood lovers paradise and hidden foodie gem. I can't wait to go back and try more of the spots on my list. Let me know where you'be been and your recommendations for eating in Providence. If you visit and of these spots, let me know what you try and how you like it!